Motivation:It is the crucial element in setting and attaining goals that show your own levels.


If a manager wants to get work done by his employees, he may either hold out a promise of a reward (positive motivation) or he/she may install fear (negative motivation). Both these types are widely used by managements.

a) Positive Motivation:

This type of motivation is generally based on reward. A positive motivation involves the

The possibility of increased motive satisfaction. According to Flippo – “Positive motivation  is  the                        

the process of attempting to influence others to do your will through the possibility of gain or

reward”. Incentive motivation is the “pull” mechanism. The receipt of awards, due recognition

and praise for work done definitely lead to good team spirit, co-operation and a feeling of happiness.

Positive motivation include:-

Praise and credit for work done

Wages and Salaries


A sincere interest in subordinates as individuals

Delegation of authority and responsibility

b) Negative Motivation:

This type of motivation is based on force and fear. Fear causes persons to act in a certain way because they fear the consequences. Negative motivation involves the possibility of decreased motive satisfaction. It is a “push” mechanism. The imposition of punishment frequently results in frustration among those punished, leading to the development of maladaptive behaviour. It also creates a hostile state of mind and an unfavourable attitude to the job. However, there is no management which has not used the negative motivation at some time or the other.




Some of the motivation theories are discussed below


a) McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y:

McGregor states that people inside the organization can be managed in two ways. The

first is basically negative, which falls under the category X and the other is basically positive,

which falls under the category Y. After viewing the way in which the manager dealt with

employees, McGregor concluded that a manager’s view of the nature of human beings is based on a certain grouping of assumptions and that he or she tends to mold his or her behaviour towards subordinates according to these assumptions.

Under the assumptions of theory X :

Employees inherently do not like work and whenever possible, will attempt to avoid it.

Because employees dislike work, they have to be forced, coerced or threatened with

punishment to achieve goals.

Employees avoid responsibilities and do not work fill formal directions are issued.

Most workers place a greater importance on security over all other factors and display

little ambition.

In contrast under the assumptions of theory Y :

•  The Physical and mental effort at work is as natural as rest or play.

People do exercise self-control and self-direction and if they are committed to those


Average human beings are willing to take responsibility and exercise imagination,

ingenuity and creativity in solving the problems of the organization.

That the way the things are organized, the average human being’s brainpower is only

partly used.

On analysis of the assumptions it can be detected that theory X assumes that lower-order

needs dominate individuals and theory Y assumes that higher-order needs dominate

individuals. An organization that is run on Theory X lines tends to be authoritarian in nature, the word “authoritarian” suggests such ideas as the “power to enforce obedience” and the “right to command.” In contrast, Theory Y organizations can be described as “participative”, where the aims of the organization and of the individuals in it are integrated; individuals can achieve their own goals best by directing their efforts towards the success of the organization.



b) Abraham Maslow’s “Need Hierarchy Theory”:

One of the most widely mentioned theories of motivation is the hierarchy of needs theory

put forth by psychologist Abraham Maslow. Maslow saw human needs in the form of a

hierarchy, ascending from the lowest to the highest, and he concluded that when one set of

needs are satisfied, this kind of need ceases to be a motivator.

As per his theory these needs are:

(i) Physiological needs:

These are important needs for sustaining the human life. Food, water, warmth, shelter, sleep, medicine and education are the basic physiological needs which fall in the primary list of need satisfaction. Maslow was of an opinion that until these needs were satisfied to a degree to maintain life, no other motivating factors can work.

(ii) Security or Safety needs:

These are the needs to be free of physical danger and of the fear of losing a job, property, food or shelter. It also includes protection against any emotional harm.

(iii) Social needs:

Since people are social beings, they need to belong and be accepted by others. People try to satisfy their need for affection, acceptance and friendship.

(iv) Esteem needs:

According to Maslow, once people begin to satisfy their need to belong, they tend to want to be held in esteem both by themselves and by others. This kind of need produces such satisfaction as power, prestige status and self-confidence. It includes both internal esteem factors like self-respect, autonomy and achievements and external esteem factors such as status, recognition and attention.

(v) Need for self-actualization:

Maslow regards this as the highest need in his hierarchy. It is the drive to become what one is capable of becoming; it includes growth, achieving one’s potential and self-fulfillment. It is to maximize one’s potential and to accomplish something.All of the needs are structured into a hierarchy and only once a lower level of need has been fully met, would a worker be motivated by the opportunity of having the next need up in the hierarchy satisfied. For example, a person who is dying of hunger will be motivated to achieve a basic wage in order to buy food before worrying about having a secure job contract or the respect of others.

A business should  offer different incentives to workers in order to help them fulfill each need in turn and progress up the hierarchy. Managers should also recognize that workers are not all motivated in the same way and do not all move up the hierarchy at the same pace. They may have to offer a slightly different set of incentives from worker to worker.

c) Frederick Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory:

Frederick has tried to modify Maslow’s need Hierarchy theory. His theory is also known

as two-factor theory or Hygiene theory. He stated that there are certain satisfiers and

dissatisfiers for employees at work. Intrinsic factors are related to job satisfaction, while extrinsic factors are associated with dissatisfaction. He devised his theory on the question: “What do people want from their jobs?” He asked people to describe in detail, such situations when they felt exceptionally good or exceptionally bad. From the responses that he received, he concluded that opposite of satisfaction is not dissatisfaction. Removing dissatisfying characteristics from a job does not necessarily make the job satisfying. He states that presence of certain factors in the organization is natural and the presence of the same does not lead to motivation. However, their non-presence leads to de-motivation. In a similar manner, there are certain factors, the absence of which causes no dissatisfaction, but their presence has  a motivational impact.

Examples of Hygiene factors are:

Security, status, relationship with subordinates, personal life, salary, work conditions,

relationship with supervisor and company policy and administration.

Examples of Motivational factors are:

Growth prospectus job advancement, responsibility, challenges, recognition and achievements.

d) Victor Vroom’s Expectancy theory:

The most widely accepted explanations of motivation have been propounded by Victor

Vroom. His theory is commonly known as expectancy theory. The theory argues that the

strength of a tendency to act in a specific way depends on the strength of an expectation that the act will be followed by a given outcome and on the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual to make this simple, expectancy theory says that an employee can be motivated to perform better when there is a belief that the better performance will lead to good performance appraisal and that this shall result in realization of personal goal in form of some reward.


Therefore an employee is:

Motivation = Valence x Expectancy.

The theory focuses on three things:

Efforts and performance relationship

Performance and reward relationship

Rewards and personal goal relationship


e) Clayton Alderfer’s ERG Theory:

Alderfer has tried to rebuild the hierarchy of needs of Maslow into another model named

ERG i.e. Existence – Relatedness – Growth. According to him, there are 3 groups of core needs as mentioned above. The existence group is concerned mainly with providing basic material existence. The second group is the individuals need to maintain an interpersonal relationship with other members of the group. The final group is the intrinsic desire to grow and develop personally. The major conclusions of this theory are:

In an individual, more than one need may be operative at the same time.

If a higher need goes unsatisfied than the desire to satisfy a lower need intensifies.

It also contains the frustration-regression dimension.

f) McClelland’s Theory of Needs:

David McClelland has developed a theory on three types of motivating needs :

(i) Need for Power

(ii) Need for Affiliation

(iii) Need for Achievement

Basically, people for high need for power are inclined towards influence and control. They like to be at the center and are good orators. They are demanding in nature, forceful in manners and ambitious in life. They can be motivated to perform if they are given key positions or power positions.


In the second category are the people who are social in nature. They try to affiliate themselves with individuals and groups. They are driven by love and faith. They like to build a friendly environment around themselves. Social recognition and affiliation with others provide them motivation.

People in the third area are driven by the challenge of success and the fear of failure. Their

need for achievement is moderate and they set for themselves moderately difficult tasks. They are analytical in nature and take calculated risks. Such people are motivated to perform when they see at least some chances of success.

McClelland observed that with the advancement in the hierarchy the need for power and

achievement increased rather than Affiliation. He also observed that people who were at the

top later ceased to be motivated by this drives.





g) Stacey Adams’ Equity Theory:

As per the equity theory of J. Stacey Adams, people are motivated by their beliefs about

the reward structure as being fair or unfair, relative to the inputs. People have a tendency to use subjective judgment to balance the outcomes and inputs in the relationship for comparisons between different individuals. Accordingly:

If people feel that they are not equally rewarded they either reduce the quantity or quality of

work or migrate to some other organization. However, if people perceive that they are rewarded higher, they may be motivated to work harder.

h) Skinner’s Reinforcement Theory:

B.F. Skinner, who propounded the reinforcement theory, holds that by designing the

environment properly, individuals can be motivated. Instead of considering internal factors like impressions, feelings, attitudes and other cognitive behavior, individuals are directed by what happens in the environment external to them. Skinner states that work environment should be made suitable for the individuals and that punishment actually leads to frustration and demotivation. Hence, the only way to motivate is to keep on making positive changes in the external environment of the organization.



                      The motivation which brings out talented people with bright colors . Behind  the success of every achiever motivational thoughts given by someone act as a stepping stone.”We should not give up and we should not allow the problem to defeat us” is one of the best quotes of former president Dr.A.P.J.Abdul kalam , explains his experience about life.



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Reshma Anusuya
I am an engineering student and the green panther.

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